Toronto Diary
1 min

Why did doctors fail to inform a transgender man of his breast cancer?

At this point in life, if you don’t know anyone who has dealt with cancer, you’re either extremely fortunate, very young or not very social. While there is no set cure for most forms of cancer, the rule of thumb seems to dictate that diagnosing it early will greatly help your chances of beating it.

Which is why it seems rather odd that a doctor in New York allegedly failed to inform one of his patients that a lump found in the patient’s breast was cancerous. However, some people are claiming that it may have been discrimination, since the patient in question was a transgender male.

"I kept hitting this stone wall of non-acceptance,” Kallio told the New York Daily News. “It’s a systemic problem. It was at all levels of providers, from doctors to housekeeping to the nursing staff. People need to be aware that this discrimination will not be tolerated.”   

Although the doctor later apologized, Kallio told the Daily News that the time spent to find new physicians has put his health in greater danger.   

"It delayed my care past the therapeutic window for chemotherapy,” said Kallio. “You should have chemotherapy within three months of cancer therapy. Because I had to change providers and kept encountering discrimination, it delayed the care. So much of cancer care has to do with early treatment.”(via The Advocate)

Quick question here, but isn’t one of the requirements of becoming a doctor taking the Hippocratic Oath? You know, that little oath that states that you have to do everything in your power to help your patient, regardless of your own personal feelings or prejudices? Because I’m pretty sure discrimination and transphobia kind of fly in the face of that principle. Although who knows? I’m not exactly a doctor.

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